Christians Overtaking S. Korea, Buddhists Worry

Worried South Korean Buddhists are protesting against what they perceive as Christianity’s increasing dominance over the nation’s politics, especially in the light of the current man in office.

By Edmond Chan

Christianity’s rapid expansion in South Korea is due to the faith having brought modernisation with the introduction of Western medicine, education, and even democracy.

While Buddhism on the other hand with its focus on meditation, prayer, and seclusion in temples, “failed to play an important social role” according to a Religious Freedom expert, and is viewed more as a cultural heritage than religion.

South Korea has the highest proportion of Protestant Christians in Asia, at 29.3 percent of the 48,850,000 people. Buddhists account for 22.8 percent of the population.

Eleven of the twelve largest Christian congregations in the world are located in Seoul alone, including the largest congregation, Yoido Full Gospel Church, which boasts 800,000 members.

Protestant churches also stage all-night prayer marathons, and are known for their evangelical zeal, with the second highest number of missionaries dispatched all over the world, next to the U.S.

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